The Blue Jays have settled on deals with their two most notable arbitration-eligible players. Corner outfielder Teoscar Hernández will receive $10.65MM, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (Twitter link); first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is in line for $7.9MM, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (on Twitter).
Hernández’s deal comes in narrowly above the $10MM projection of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. It’s a notable jump from last season’s $4.325MM salary, reflecting the excellent season the right-handed hitter just posted. Hernández hit .296/.346/.524 with 32 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 595 plate appearances last year. He’ll be arbitration-eligible one final time next winter before hitting free agency over the 2023-24 offseason.
Guerrero’s salary is an exact match for Swartz’s projection. It’s the 23-year-old’s first year of arbitration, and he lands his first significant payday after finishing as the AL MVP runner-up. Guerrero hit an incredible .311/.401/.601 with 48 homers over 698 plate appearances this past season, emerging as the kind of impact hitter the Toronto fanbase had been hoping for when Guerrero was the sport’s top prospect. He owns a career .289/.367/.517 line and remains under control through 2025 after qualifying for arbitration early via the Super Two process.
Toronto also agreed to a two-year deal to buy out Matt Chapman’s final couple seasons of arbitration this afternoon. That brings the Jays’ projected payroll to around $171MM, in the estimation of Jason Martinez of Roster Resource.